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Six Nations: England squad profile

Starting out in a new era after the departure of Eddie Jones and appointment of Steve Borthwick, here’s all you need to know about England ahead of the 2023 Six Nations.

Confirmed Squad

Forwards

Jamie Blamire (Newcastle Falcons), Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Ben Curry (Sale Sharks), Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins) ,Tom Dunn (Bath), Ben Earl (Saracens), Ellis Genge (Bristol Bears), Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers), Jonny Hill (Sale Sharks), Nick Isiekwe (Saracens), Maro Itoje (Saracens), Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints), Dave Ribbans (Northampton Saints), Bevan Rodd (Sale Sharks), Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs), Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Jack Walker (Harlequins), Jack Willis (Toulouse).

Backs

Owen Farrell (Saracens), Tommy Freeman (Northampton Saints), Ollie Hassell-Collins (London Irish), Dan Kelly (Leicester Tigers), Ollie Lawrence (Bath), Max Malins (Saracens), Joe Marchant (Harlequins), Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints), Cadan Murley (Harlequins), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Fin Smith (Northampton Saints), Marcus Smith (Harlequins), Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers), Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks), Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers). 

Manager

Appointed only back in December, head coach Steve Borthwick has been tasked with taking England into the 2023 Six Nations and leading the side into the World Cup on French soil later this year.

It was Borthwick who guided the Leicester Tigers to the Premiership title last season and was top of the wishlist for the RFU following the departure of Eddie Jones.

Borthwick also brought defence coach Kevin Sinfield with him from Welford Road, with the rugby league legend playing a big role in Leicester's title success last season.

Possible First XV

15. Freddie Steward 
14. Ollie Hassell-Collins
13. Henry Slade 
12. Owen Farrell
11. Tommy Freeman
10. Marcus Smith
9. Jack van Poortvliet
8. Sam Simmonds
7. Lewis Ludlam
6. Ben Earl
5. Jonny Hill
4. Maro Itoje
3. Kyle Sinckler
2. George McGuigan
1. Ellis Genge

Strengths

Based on Borthwick's time at Leicester and with his work with England in the past, the Red Rose once again should be formidable in the forwards.

England will look to win the battle up front, get their set-pieces right and dominate teams, especially when they come to Twickenham in this Six Nations.

Weaknesses

There has been criticism of England's back division and perhaps a lack of tries in the back three.

England's centre partnership continues to be a big question ahead of the World Cup and one Borthwick will be looking to answer in this Six Nations.

Related Six Nations News 

Six Nations: All you need to know

Six Nations: Previous winners

Six Nations Outright odds

Key Players

Marcus Smith

Looking to get back to full fitness just in time for the Six Nations, the return of Harlequins fly-half Marcus Smith is a welcomed boost for England. 

One of the most creative stand-offs in world rugby, the Quins playmaker will be hoping to give the England backline the creative lift it needs to challenge for the title this season.

Ellis Genge 

A ferocious competitor in the front-row, prop Ellis Genge will be a key figure in the England pack.

With 43 caps already to his name going into the Six Nations, Genge's experience will be vital, especially in a front-row that could see some fresh faces due to injuries.

Big things can be expected from a player with the nickname the "Baby Rhino".

Owen Farrell

Once again named captain under new boss Borthwick, Farrell will be looking to lead from the front in this Six Nations.

With Smith expected to fill the No.10 jersey, Farrell might well deputise once again at the inside centre position.

The debate rumbles on whether he is the best player for that No.12 spot but there is no doubting his leadership, competitiveness and ability from the kicking tee.

Ones to watch

There's plenty of excitement about London Irish winger Ollie Hassell-Collins as he prepares to win his first England cap at the Six Nations.

Tearing it up with the Exiles in the Premiership, the 24-year-old will be looking to show he can make the step up to Test level.

Meanwhile, 22-year-old Freddie Steward is another player to be excited about.

The Leicester full-back has the pace and strength to unlock defences and will be looking to make sure there's no debate on who should wear the No.15 jersey for England.

Odds

After two disappointing Six Nations campaigns, England now find themselves at 4/1 to win the title this season. 

The Red Rose last won the Grand Slam in 2020 and are 9/1 to repeat the feat this year. 

In the history of the Five Nations and Six Nations, England have won the Triple Crown on 26 occasions.

Facing Scotland at Twickenham, with Wales and Ireland on the road, England's odds to win the Triple Crown this season have been Boosted to 11/2.

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